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Harry Connick, Jr.

With very few exceptions, the career of Harry Connick, Jr., can be divided in half -- his first two albums encompassed straight-ahead New Orleans jazz and stride piano while his later career (which paralleled his rising celebrity status) alternated between more contemporary New Orleans music and pop vocals with a debt to Frank Sinatra. Born in New Orleans on September 11, 1967, Connick grew up the son of two lawyers who owned a record store. After beginning on keyboards at the age of three, he first performed publicly at six and recorded with a local jazz band at ten. Connick attended the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and studied with Ellis Marsalis and James Booker. A move to New York to study at Hunter College and the Manhattan School of Music gave him the opportunity to look up a Columbia Records executive who had asked to see him, and Connick's self-titled album debut -- a set of mostly unaccompanied standards -- appeared in 1987. Jazz critics praised Connick's maturity and engaging style as well as his extended stays at New York hot spots during the year. His second album, named for his age in 1988, was the first to feature him on vocals.

Already well known within jazz circles, Connick entered the American consciousness with the soundtrack to 1989's popular film When Harry Met Sally. Director Rob Reiner had asked Connick to compose a soundtrack, and he recorded several warm standards ("It Had to Be You," "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore") with a big-band backing. A world tour followed, and When Harry Met Sally eventually reached double-platinum status. With Connick a major celebrity, he diverged into an acting career, playing a tail gunner in 1990's Memphis Belle. That same year, he released two albums simultaneously: one, We Are in Love, was another vocal outing with similar standards as had appeared on When Harry Met Sally, while Lofty's Roach Souffle was all-instrumental. (Of course, the vocal album performed much better in the pop charts, hitting double platinum, while the instrumentals worked better with jazz audiences.) Connick toured again, this time with a big band, and recorded the group on 1991's Blue Light, Red Light. Though his celebrity decreased slightly during the mid-'90s, Connick's albums continued to reach platinum status, including 1992's 25, a 1993 Christmas album, and 1994's She. Connick continued his acting work with a starring role in 1995's Copycat (where he played a serial killer), and he married actress Jill Goodacre. In 1996, he had a brief role in the year's biggest blockbuster, Independence Day, but his album Star Turtle failed to connect with pop audiences. Come by Me, a return to big-band sounds, followed in 1999. In the new millennium, Connick cycled between albums exploring his jazz roots and those with songbook standards.

Interestingly, post-2001 Connick moved between two labels with albums getting released on both Columbia Records and saxophonist Branford Marsalis' Marsalis Music label. Among these were the big-band album Only You, featuring popular music from the '50s and '60s, and the more intimate releases Other Hours: Connick on Piano, Vol. 1 (2003) and Occasion: Connick on Piano, Vol. 2 (2005), which focused on Connick's instrumental abilities. As well as releasing albums, Connick continued to act, appearing regularly on the television sitcom Will & Grace before it ended in 2006. Ever devoted to his hometown, Connick was also heavily involved in the support and rebuilding of New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. In early September 2005, he organized the benefit telethon A Concert for Hurricane Relief on NBC to raise money for and draw attention to the beleaguered residents of New Orleans. Afterward, he worked closely with Habitat for Humanity in helping victims of Katrina. In 2007, Connick once again expressed his deep love for his hometown with the release of his New Orleans tribute album, Oh, My Nola, on Columbia Records. The similarly New Orleans-themed Chanson du Vieux Carré also appeared in 2007. A year later, Connick returned with his third holiday album, What a Night! A Christmas Album. He once again revisited a set of American popular song classics and contemporary pop standards with 2009's Your Songs. In 2011, as part of WNET's Great Performances series on PBS, Connick released the live album and DVD In Concert on Broadway. The concert featured Connick backed by his big band and orchestra performing at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City. In 2013, Connick returned with the funk-oriented album Smokey Mary. The album coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Krewe of Orpheus, the Mardi Gras super krewe that Connick co-founded in 1993. Included on the album was the song "Smokey Mary Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train," which Connick penned in homage to the krewe's signature float. Also in 2013, Connick released the eclectic album of all-original songs, Every Man Should Know. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Easy on the ears
shelleysalin a s 9 9
I love Harry!! Lol he's so handsome!;)
scarryj
I agree with other comments. Watch Idol for the Judges!
Amazing!!!!!
dance4jesus0
love his songs I heard cd
jamie38hall2
What a voice....wha t a hunk! I burn, I pine, I perish!!


(maybe I outta get that looked at)
Awesome!!!
laneymcc
lOVE♥ Harry on Idol, so full of charisma. this is the season to watch!!
misajon
Harry
Dude, he is the funniest in Idol. He's what the show needed. he's honest to the point of being harsh, but it doesn't come off as being too mean.
jamie.moore9 6
I do believe he has brought a lot to American Idol. The three judges have good chemistry. I watch American Idol for the judges. They are entertaining within themselves. Alot of class and humor.
LisaWClark I totally agree with you!!! Harry is the BEST!!!
fredamayer
Nothing not to like about this gorgeous, talented man, thrilled to see him every week on Idol.
lisawclark
I'd hoped for him to be an Idol judge since he first started appearing as a mentor. He is FANTASTIC as a judge!!! Him and Urban have great chemistry. I enjoy his humor and appreciate his seriousness when it comes to the music.
Thank God his style, class, and musical knowledge will be on American Idol. Go, Harry! :-)
LOOOVE IT!!!!
My gosh! This guy sounds more like Mel Tormay then Mel Tormay does. The Velvet Fog has been cloned.
bbwbabi
In my top five of fav artists. LOVE that he is on Idol; will watch again now that he's on. HCJ is the REAL deal- Buble' can float away in a bubble'.
Wow, Harry is smooth.
Kiss your left hand
Say your crushes name
Close your hand
Pick a school day
Post this 15 times and your crush will ask you out on that day
sungarden
Pure greatness! One of the best today...old at heart. Reminds me of my dear mom. She loved Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr. When Harry Met Sally still the best movie ever!
HC, Jr. is still one of the best concerts I've ever attended. He really put his all into the show. Excited that he's joined Idol, and that they ditched Jimmy Iovine...may b e I'll watch this season.
with the bouquet,chat e a u Briand and a small leather box for finger things,in a dip...
i love his acting, charisma and gorgeous voice. . not to mention his beautiful soul
He has absolutely everything going for him! I love him;)
Don't read this because it really works. U will be kissed by the love of ur life on the nearest possible Friday. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life. But if u don't post this u will die in two days. Now u have started reading so don't stop. Put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes and when done press f6 and ur lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. It's scary b/c it works.
Saw him live in Dallas many years ago, didn't know his music, still one of the best concerts I've ever been to! He was awesome, his musicians (trumpet, trombone) were equally incredible! We danced right out of the venue!
jgermer1
No mention of Hope Floats in 1998?
1. Kiss your left hand . 2. Close your hand. 3. Say your crushes name. 4. Open your hand. 5. Say your name 6. Post this on 15 other songs and your crush will ask you out on the day u pick!
He needs to record Bad Bad Boy, I wrote it just for him.
I like his words,music, tone of voice....ohh h just much more! :)
He's fantastic. Because he has a soul
Ok, I'm listening. Whatcha got young'un? DMB
Well, for us old f*rts...perd y good but no cigar. I notice the Similar Artists are listed as Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Nat King Cole. Pish-posh! There are no similars to these guys. I spoze coffee creamer is cream too. I don't mean to insult or disparage these guys, because I enjoy them and they keep the material in circulation but they are immitations. And while I'm onnah role, Mamma Cass did a Dream a little dream of me that was to die for and much better than it had ever been done.
22softball87
Can think of nothing better than seeing him in concert. Love his voice and style, plus he is so good looking. Lucky you
gdoryte
saw him live many years ago in a very small venue in Saratoga, CA - he announced his engagement to his now wife at the event. a great showman and talent...
Love them all!
Harry's not only a terrific musician and singer, he's a dog-gonned-d a r n e d - p r e t t y - g o o d actor, too! Listening to him 2-nite in Tucson. I like 'amberdee.en t ' s ' post - good on ya amberdee! I 'heart' Harry's voice too!
I HEARD HIM LIVE IN OMAHA WHEN HE WAS STILL VERY YOUNG AND STILL EXPERIMENTIN G WITH RHYTHMS. IT WAS AN OUTDOOR CONCERT AND HE WAS GREAT. HAVE BEEN A FAN EVER SINCE.
@moriah lanctot IKR
Harry, Harry, Harry...Love , love, love you! Love your voice AND that gorgeous mouth those beautiful words come out of! You to me are one sexy MAN! Keep singing and acting. I am a HUGE fan!
I wish i was born the 30s all the music back then was amazing! so much talent! today the music i do like but there isnt really much talent pretty much anyone can be popular.
amberdee.ent
I heart his voice!
I love him!!
pazfaviola
:D Love this dude!
Harry you're keepin it alive
Harry Connick Jr., now he didn't just fall off of the turnup truck and he's always a welcome and enjoyable stewart for the old classics with me. I look forward to having him included in my repertoire. DMB
fortunate are we...!
mz.chiquita0 4
i love it.
kennym999
sang with his Dad @JMS
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